The Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Ella Donaghu
School: Grant (Portland, Ore.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner raced to her third consecutive Class 6A individual state championship this past season, with a course-record time of 17:26. The state’s two-time returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Donaghu finished second at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 17:10.2. She also won the Nike Border Clash and the Sundodger Invitational, while finishing third at the NXN Northwest Regional championships.
Academic excellence: Donaghu has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: A mentor for younger runners, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a soup kitchen and the Friends First Club, which helps integrate special needs students at her school.
“Ella is the epitome of the scholar-athlete, and she works hard year-round, not just when she feels like it,” said Grant coach Doug Winn. “Through her leadership our women’s team bonded better than ever before and each runner ran better because of her influence.”
THE FUTURE: Donaghu has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on an athletic scholarship at Stanford University beginning this fall.